Big Ten men’s basketball tourney already sold out

The Big Ten men’s basketball tournament, scheduled for March 13-16 in Indianapolis, is sold out, the conference announced Monday afternoon.

The tournament is returning to downtown’s Bankers Life Fieldhouse after being played at the United Center in Chicago a year ago. It will be the ninth time Indianapolis has hosted the tournament in the event's 16-year history.

With six sessions in the 11-game event, the tournament should set an attendance record for Indianapolis. Bankers Life Fieldhouse has a capacity of about 18,300 for basketball, meaning ticket sales should exceed 109,000.

The previous high mark for the tourney in Indianapolis was 107,737 in 2012.

The tournament sold out for the first time last year when it returned to Chicago after five straight years in Indianapolis. The 2013 tourney drew a record 124,543 at the 21,700-seat United Center.

All-session tickets for this year's tournament were available on StubHub on Monday afternoon with asking prices ranging from $267 to $8,800 each.

Asking prices for early single-session tickets were as low as $12, but reached as high as $2,480 for lower-level midcourt seats to the semifinals.   

Big Ten basketball ticket sales are up overall for the fifth straight year, according to the conference.

The Big Ten topped the 13,000 mark in average regular-season attendance last season for the first time since 2001-02 and set a conference record of more than 2.9 million. The conference has led the nation in men's basketball attendance in each of the last 37 years, it said.

This year’s attendance surge, however, isn’t being propelled by the on-court performance of Indiana’s teams. Indiana University is 5-8 in the conference and Purdue is 5-9.

Indianapolis will also host this year’s Big Ten women’s basketball tournament, from March 6- 9. It will be played in Indy for the 18th time since 1995. It also was played in Chicago a year ago.

Indiana Sports Corp. spokesman John Dedman said ticket sales for the women’s tournament are “trending similar to 2012," when the event drew between 30,000 and 35,000.

Both tournaments will return to Chicago next year before coming back to Indianapolis in 2016.


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